With the massive number of links I keep retweeting, I decided to do a regular post on some links that I loved RTing and from which I gleaned lots of valuable insights (thanks trunk.ly for helping me get organized – where there’s a tech. problem, there’s a solution that the geeks have already come up with). This week’s focus is on ux design for kids – websites, apps, products. And yes, I’m very much a user-centric designer. Who wouldn’t be – considering I’m always gleaning little bits of wisdom from my toddler.

  1. Interaction Action & Children – research papers get me excited; this paper goes in-depth about how developing cognitive and motor abilities in kids should play a role in good design, and how different age groups interact differently with the environment (for e.g. how 2-7 year olds are ego-centric – can’t see the world from someone else’s point of view; how 7-11 year olds have concrete concepts) – and how this observation can make for better design – avoid navigational hierarchies etc. All in all, if you’re fascinated with child psychology and user experience design, go read this survey paper.
  2. Sketching – Blog post on why sketching matters, and why one should use this simple technique. I loved the line “Ugly gets the job done just fine” – as long as the sketch gets the idea across and helps one visualize the concept, it’s good enough. There have been many times when I thought a quick photoshopping would do the trick – but every time this method gets me down – it’s too painstaking and time-consuming a tool. A sketchbook and some good color pencils do the trick. And carry it everywhere (you could take your fancy iPad along and draw in Adobe Ideas too – but seriously, sketch the old-fashioned way).
  3. Focus Groups – this article talks about how to conduct “research panels” for kids. A serious sounding phrase – but just together a bunch of kids with possibly some cookies and let them hang out. We conducted a small workshop for our first drawing collage app, and got some really good feedback – (there’s no black color, I want hearts etc.)
  4. Designing for kids – interview with Debra Gelman, User Experience Lead at Comcast Interactive. Valuable insights into incremental changes in games or websites, personalization and positive feedback.